B.C. police watchdog to investigate after man shot by Duncan RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has been called to Duncan B.C. after a man was injured in a police-involved incident where he was shot. (CBC - image credit)
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has been called to Duncan B.C. after a man was injured in a police-involved incident where he was shot. (CBC - image credit)

British Columbia's police watchdog has been deployed to Vancouver Island in relation to an incident captured on video and shared on social media that appears to show police shoot a man.

The seven-second video shows the moments before an officer opens fire on a man standing behind the open door of a black SUV that appears to have rammed an RCMP vehicle backwards into a ditch.

The video shows the police SUV marked "NC,'' indicating it belonged to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, in a ditch next to a parking lot where several other police vehicles are parked.

The man appears to be checking something in the back seat of the black SUV before turning toward one of two approaching officers.

The officer appears to fire a single shot, and the man falls to the ground and begins to turn over before the video ends.

Officer fired at vehicle, say Mounties

RCMP said in a news release an officer fired at a vehicle which had hit another officer in the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP employee parking lot Friday morning.

Around 12 p.m. PT on Friday, Duncan RCMP issued a statement saying a man had driven into the employee parking lot at the detachment and struck a police officer with his vehicle.

A second officer shot at the vehicle and struck its driver, the statement said.

"We are unsure what the man's intentions were at this time, but the investigation will look to determine that," said Inspector Chris Bear of North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.

The suspect and officer were both taken to hospital with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries, RCMP said.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) says it will release further information about an incident in Duncan, north of Victoria, later today.

Rise in police-involved deaths

This is the second time Duncan RCMP have shot a suspect in recent months.

RCMP shot Davin Cochrane, 31, twice in the head as they arrested him in Duncan in late March. Video showed Cochrane driving a skid-steer loader erratically, with police vehicles circling, appearing to try to ram or contain him.

Cochrane is now on life-support at Victoria General Hospital, and his family has called for answers about why he was shot.

The IIO saw a rise in the number of police-involved deaths and injuries it investigated in 2022 compared to previous years.

A 2018 investigation by CBC News found B.C. had had 98 police-involved deaths since 2000, the highest rate in Canada at that time.